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Please forgive this rather long story but the
inventory thread made me remember it.

Everyone has their own ideas about the importance of
inventory and I will admit I don't get to do it in
full every year, I try but so much gets in the way.  I
will do one this year, but the real reason I am
responding is to tell a story about an inventory I did
about 25 years ago.  I had just taken a job at a large
children's library on a university campus, in Utah. 
We had just moved from Mississippi and I was so
missing my family but was glad I had a job. It was
early June and I was inventorying the picture books in
the Anne Carroll Moore Library.  I was sitting in the
middle of the floor pulling book after book out with
the shelf list balanced in my lap.  I pulled out "Now
One Foot, Now the Other" by Tomie DePaolo.  I thought
I knew most of his books but I wasn't familiar with
this one.  I normally wouldn't have even looked at the
book except to make sure it was in the right place as
there was still so much to do and it was getting late
in the day.  But for some reason I started to read it,
and (I still get chills when I think about it) tears
started streaming down my face.  If you don't know the
story it is about a grandfather who has had a stroke
and a grandson who helps him get better.  Five years
earlier my father had a blood clot on his brain and
lapsed into a coma for a long time.  When he finally
woke up, he had to relearn everything just as a baby
would.  His only grandchild at the time (my son) was
just 5.  Brent spent hours and days pointing to
pictures and telling my dad the words.  He would, much
later, walk behind my dad with his hand on his belt as
my dad would walk with his walker(he watched my Mom or
I help balance my Dad).  It is a miracle my Dad didn't
fall back and crush him.  The mental image I still
have of a very little boy trying to hold up and guide
a grown man is so vivid.  Anyway, long story short, it
was as if a stranger had lived our life and put it in
a book.  I took the book home, and didn't say a word
to Brent about why I wanted him to read the book,
except I though he might like to share it with his
baby brother.  He read it and said "Mom, its me and
Pop, how did he know?"  Then he said "I don't know if
we should show this to Granny, she might cry."  We did
eventually and have given a book to all the Grandkids
who were born after Pop got sick.  So if I hadn't done
the inventory I probably would still have seen the
book eventually, but now everytime I inventory I'm
thinking I still might find a treasure.  P.S. My Dad
is still alive, although his health is not good and he
and my Mom survived Hurricane Katrina.  My son, Brent
still has his book and he still helps his Pop.
Debbie Boutwell
Lafayette Middle School
Oxford, MS 

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